Is lying on references criminal?

Beaten and Weary asks:
(updated on Tuesday, January 22nd 2013)

Is it a crime to lie on references for tenants?

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) applies only to the relationship between a landlord and tenant, it does not cover the relationship between a landlord (or a tenant) and a third party who provides a reference for a tenant. The Act does, however, provide for the Tenancy Tribunal to set aside a tenancy agreement where it appears that an agreement has been induced by fraud or misrepresentation. If you believe that this has occurred, you may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter determined. Parties can also seek advice from their local community law centre, about what consequences or recourse is available where false information is provided on a reference and whether such action amounts to a criminal offence.

Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 2.09
HSBC Special 2.25
ICBC 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
AIA 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.29
SBS Bank Special 2.29
Westpac Special 2.29
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
ICBC 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
AIA 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
HSBC Premier 2.89
TSB Special 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
SBS Bank Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43